Thursday, September 25, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


No breakthrough in talks, students’ strike today
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

The Principal, Ms Usha Wahi, said she had prepared a detailed report on the proceedings of the meeting held between Mr Jatinder Khanna and students in the presence of staff members."It would be sent to the DPI (C), Mr Dilip Kumar, tomorrow morning. He is the final word on the matter and will take a final decision," she added.

Chandigarh, September 24
Nothing conclusive emerged out of the many rounds of meetings held between the Principal, staff, parents and students at Government College for Girls, Sector 11, here today.

Students seeking the removal of visually impaired teacher Jatinder Khanna raised slogans against him for citing obscene examples in class. They said they would go on strike and no classes would be held at the college tomorrow.

In a meeting held late in the evening, students have decided to go on strike from tomorrow till their demand for the ouster of Mr Khanna is met though they will get only two days before the autumn break for the college begins.

"If we give up now, we have lost the battle. The game plan seems to be to get us back to classes before the college closes in the hope that it would fizzle out when college re-opens," a students says.

PUCSC President Malwinder Kang informs,"students have called me at 8 am. We will ensure no classes are held."

The morning began on a tense note with parents of students who gathered at the college gate being denied entry into the college and a meeting with the Principal. On the arrival of the President of Panjab University Campus Students Council (PUCSC), Malvinder Kang, the group forced its way into the college and sought an audience with the Principal, Ms Usha Wahi.

Ms Wahi told angry parents and agitated students that she had not called a meeting of the parents. She said while she was trying to arrange a meeting between the accused teacher and the students, the President of the PUCSC, had no role in the talks. She also informed them that the DPI (C), too, was busy elsewhere and would not be able to make it for the meeting at the college.

After this, the parents and the students were asked to leave the office. Irked by the attitude of the Principal and staff, the students of the MA I and II of the Music Department, accompanied by students of the undergraduate class, raised slogans for nearly an hour.

After parents and students forced their way into the college campus, the gate was locked Teachers and students who came late were also denied entry to the college and had to wait outside the campus for nearly half-an-hour. The security guard said he had orders from the Principal to lock the college gate.

Demanding the exit of Mr Jatinder Khanna, the parents, too, were critical that the college authorities had tried to lock them out of the campus especially when they had been "invited for a meeting".

Students raising slogans said the college authorities should either suspend the teacher, which they said, was unlikely going by the stance of the authorities, or transfer him to a boys' college. "The students of undergraduate classes have joined issue with us. They do not want to go through the humiliation which we have been subjected to," a student said.

This was followed by a meeting of the College Advisory Committee after which students of MA I and II were called in separately in the presence of the accused teacher and Heads of all the Departments at the college.

"Nothing substantial emerged from the talks and the DPI (C) failed to show up. The teacher denied having said anything indecent to us and broke down to gain sympathy. We were told that the Principal has been asked to submit a report of these proceedings to the DPI (C)," they disclosed.

When the parents approached the DPI (C) to present their side to him. Students said he told them to go back to their classes since Mr Khanna was no longer teaching them and that he would look into the matter.

Meanwhile, Mr Jatinder Khanna, the accused teacher, who was present at the college in his department, said,"I have not received any complaint from the undergraduates or the postgraduates. No parent has come to meet me. I don't have any information that BA students have also decided against attending my classes."



City telephone numbers to change
Mohali, Panchkula to follow suit ...
Tribune News Service

What does change mean....

  • No need to change STD code.
  • Mohali and Panchkula will have the same STD code as Chandigarh for now.
  • Chandigarh and Panchkula numbers will change on October 11
  • Mohali numbers to change on October 2.
  • STD code to Kharar changed from 01888 to 0160. Change to be affected on October 2.

Chandigarh, September 24
All telephone numbers in Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar will change. Callers will have to prefix “2” with the existing telephone numbers of fixed line telephones of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). For Chandigarh and Panchkula the change will be affected from October 11, 2003, and in case of SAS Nagar, the change will be sooner, on October 2, 2003.

It is to be noted that as per the Telecom Regulatory Commission of India (TRAI), all telecom operators across the country have been asked to shift to a 10 digit numbering scheme. The BSNL has already implemented that numbering scheme in almost all exchanges throughout the country except in Chandigarh, Panchkula, SAS Nagar and few other towns. This meant a place like Delhi with STD code 011 should have eight digits numbers while places like Chandigarh which have STD code 0172 should have seven digit numbers.

Mr R.C. Vaish, PGMT, Chandigarh, said: “In the first phase the STD code of Kharar short distance circuiting area (SDCA) will be changed from 01888 to 0160 with effect from October 2, 2003. Along with this digit ‘2’ will be prefixed to the existing number of Kharar, Landran, Sohana, Manauli, Ratwara Sahib, Tira, Derri and Godanda exchanges.”

He made it clear that there will be no change in the STD code of SAS Nagar and digit ‘2’ would be prefixed to the existing telephone numbers with effect from October 2, 2003. However, existing level of ‘256’ and ‘257’ of Industrial Area, Telephone Exchange, Phase-VII, Exchange, SAS Nagar (Punjab) will be changed to ‘2236’ and ‘2237’, respectively. Giving an example, an official said this meant telephone number 256345 will be changed to 2236345, and the telephone number 257648 to 2237648. All other telephone numbers of SAS Nagar will remain the same and only ‘2’ will be prefixed.

Mr K.S. Sarangal, General Manager, (SAS Nagar and Panchkula) said the consumers would not have to adjust their STD locks again as all the telephone numbers would be changed from the exchange itself. But the subscribers would have to dial their numbers by putting a prefix 2 before the existing numbers.

Insiders in the BSNL admitted that the issue of changing STD codes in SAS Nagar had been sidelined for the time being and it would continue to stay with the Chandigarh. Similarly, Panchkula subscribers, which had to be shifted to the Ambala SDCA would continue to stay with Chandigarh. This had been done due to geographical proximity and dependence of the two townships on Chandigarh.

Official sources in the BSNL here admitted that ‘technically’ the system had been upgraded a months ago to introduce changed numbers, but the decision had to be kept in abeyance on the orders of BSNL Headquarters, New Delhi. Interestingly, the BSNL had earlier announced to implement the new numbers and even separate STD code for SAS Nagar about eight months ago, but the decision had to be postponed on the instructions of the headquarters.

They disclosed that decision was postponed when a delegation of industrialists and politicians of the SAS Nagar met the Chairman and Managing Director of the BSNL, Mr Pritpal Singh, opposing the introduction of new STD code for SAS Nagar, on the plea that it was also the extension of the Chandigarh itself. Consequently, the decision to introduce the new STD code for the town and ‘2’ prefix for Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar was also postponed.



Phone numbers to take ‘2’ as prefix
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
All the telephone subscribers making calls to Chandigarh and Panchkula subscribers will have to prefix ‘2’ to the existing telephone numbers of landline telephones of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) with effect from October 11, and in case of SAS Nagar the change will come into effect on October 2.



HC Addl Registrar’s house videotaped
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
The police late last night conducted a search in the house of suspended Registrar (Additional) of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and seized some property-related documents and videographed his house even as he remained out of the reach of the police.

A police team led by DSP S.C. Sagar, inquiry officer, conducted the search in the Sector 38 residence of Tara Chand. The search that began around midnight continued for about three hours, sources said.

The DSP said nothing “incriminating” had been found in the search, but the papers seized had to be studied to know as to what was the value of the eight properties allegedly held in his and his wife’s name.

Only the wife of Tara Chand was present in the house when the search was conducted.

The police got the house videographed to know his living status. One of the members of the search team said the visit to the house indicated that he was not living a lavish life.

When asked whether any other person was also under suspicion in the case, Mr Sagar said the FIR was against Tara Chand only.

The police was studying the seized documents to verify his alleged possession of the properties in Chandigarh, Gurgaon, Dharuhera and Panchkula, he said.



AXN’s ‘Hot and Wild’ couple in city
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
Nothing succeeds like success. For now, that seems to be the ultimate truth of life for Salil Acharya and Deepica, Delhi youngsters, who are all set to court bigger stars in times to come. Pushing to a corner over 198 finalists in the AXN’s “Hot and Wild Contest” held in Mumbai recently, the duo has walked into the league of celebrities.

Come December and the two will be seen co-hosting the episodes of AXN’s latest adventure reality show, AXN Xtreme Dhamaka, along with Australian sports star Mike Whitney and Australian supermodel Tania Zaetta.

They spoke to the Chandigarh Tribune about what made them stand in contrast to the 5,000 applicants in the contest.

For Salil Acharya, already a famous radio jockey, whose voice is the national voice for Radio Mirchi, winning the contest was not a very expected happening. “I was sure of myself, but not so sure of the results. We had the best talent from India, but it was sifted very fast. All four judges in the contest were foreigners, all experts in the business. There were two people from AXN, besides Tania Zaetta and Mike Whitney, who are already the main hosts for AXN Xtreme Dhamaka, which we will co-host with them.”

Salil said the show was all about involving people in master strokes. “We were expected to handle challenging situations during the final round of Hot and Wild Contest. The idea of the jury was to test our ability to convince people into adventure. At Xtreme Dhamaka, we will be around as facilitators, ready to take up challenges we throw at others.”

Adding on similar lines Deepica, who is already walking the path to fame by being a Miss India finalist and then by featuring in prime time serials like Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi and Shhh...Koi Hai, said, “The present show has been structured at three levels. We have carnival challenges which are the ones that make people laugh. Then there are mini-stunts like jumping into the water etc. Finally we have extreme challenges like shifting from one rope to another midair in a certain given time. The arrangements are foolproof. We have a medical team on the sets to prevent untoward incidents. We also have a set of motivational factors for those interested in taking up challenges.”

From a BCom graduate to Miss India finalist and now to AXN Xtreme Dhamaka show, the transition has been a bit too fast for Deepica, who is all set to rock India. “We are visiting six cities. We have completed shooting in Delhi and now we are in Chandigarh for two days. The show will be shot at various locations in the city beautiful,” she said.

The arrangement of hosting is simple. While Salil teams up with Tania, the Baywatch beauty, Deepica stands with Mike Whitney, complimenting him, whenever needed. Thoroughly impressed by their international co-hosts, Deepica and salil said,“ They have no airs around them. And they are more than willing to hand over the show to us. Their whole idea is to use Indian connections to reach India.”



Celebrities set to challenge city
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
Australian sports star Mike Whitney may hold the unbeaten record of best Test match bowling figures against India, but in various other realms of life he feels India could well lead the world. Smitten with India’s spiritual lineage, the cricketer-turned-television presenter is looking forward to tread the Indian route to relaxation — the yoga. He wants to learn it from some spiritual guru in Pune.

Arriving in Chandigarh along with “Baywatch” beauty and super model Tania Zaetta, who is co-hosting AXN’s latest adventure reality show, “Xtreme Dhamaka” with him, Mike shared with The Tribune his response about India, its people and their unflappable attitude. Mike and Tania are here to shoot episodes for “Xtreme Dhamaka” that throws up extreme challenges like walking on burning coals and jumping from high-rise buildings.

On the lines of mega international reality television show, “Who Dares Wins”, which Mike and Tania co-hosted for about five years, the present series is about testing physical and mental skills of participants. It will be shot in Delhi, Chandigarh, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune and Mumbai. After a hectic scheduled in Delhi, Mike and Tania were more than happy to reach Chandigarh which caught their fancy. The first thing they mentioned was, “we were thrilled to see well-pruned gardens, beautifully-maintained rotaries and people who halted at red lights. Delhi has no such culture.”

Looking forwarded to a sumptuous North Indian cuisine, Mike referred to his rather seamless transition from cricket to television. Admitting that he missed the game, Mike said, “Cricket blends elements from life into the game. It is a test of concentration, skill and sustenance. You need outstanding concentration reserves to play for five days. That’s phenomenal achievement. When Sachin Tendulkar or Rahul Dravid bat for half a day, you know they are great players. Cricket teaches you to stick to the fight. I could have returned, but for my age.”

As a television presenter, Mike shot to fame with “Who Dares Wins”, AXN’s firstever reality television show. Talking about “Xtreme Dhamaka”, Mike said, “Whenever we mentioned India in context with adventure shows, we were discouraged on grounds that Indians would not get into action. But Delhi’s response reversed these assumptions. We have even had a 60-year-old woman draped in a saree, doing push-ups for our show. That’s India for us — raring to go!”

In love with India, Mike mentioned Kashmir and its exquisite locales in Pahalgam and Gulmarg. “I cherish my stay in the magnificent house boat at Dal Lake. Also Taj Mahal is a marvel in architecture. I must return to Agra one day.”

Taking over from Mike, Tania talked about her role in the worldwide smash hit “Baywatch”. “That was a great achievement because thousands of women were vying for the role. The experience was invaluable, though I was not Pamela Anderson,” said the athletic Tania, who has presented over 25 TV shows. Going great with a prestigious London-based channel making a documentary on her life and another company called ASICS naming a shoe after her, Tania said, “Half of what I am today is thanks to Whitney, who taught me the dynamics of the art of communication. During one of the shows, I even jumped from a 17-storeyed building.”



Law Dept students boycott classes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh September 24
Students of the Law Department of Panjab University walked out of their classes today evening in protest against the “high-handedness of a criminal procedure code teacher.

Students of the evening batch of the fifth semester of the LLB in a letter addressed to the Dean University Instructions, pointed out Dr Prem Nath’s “hostile attitude towards the students”.

The letter was signed by more than 45 students. The students have levelled charges of inefficiency, humiliation and unfair role in marking attendance against the teacher.

Meanwhile, a senior teacher, on condition of anonymity, said that it was a small matter and would be sorted out soon. The problem arose because the teacher has been given the option of teaching the paper during mid-session and students were facing problems in adjusting to the changes.



PU supplementary exam from September 27
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
The supplementary examinations of Panjab University for undergraduate as well as postgraduate classes will be held from September 27, an official press note said here today.

The university had dispatched the roll numbers to all students. Dr Sodhi Ram, Controller of Examination, said students who had not received their cards should approach the university with a passport sized photograph. Students will also be required to pay Rs 40 for a duplicate admit card.

Students in this category are also required to bring documentary evidence of having submitted the examination form along with the fee.

The university has identified as many as 31 centres for the examinations in Chandigarh, Abohar, Dasuya, Fazilka, Ferozepore City, Garhshankar, Gurusar Sudhar, Hoshiarpur, Jagraon, Khanna, Ludhiana, Malout, Moga, Mukerian, Muktsar, Sidhwan Khurd and Tanda Urmar.

The practical examinations for the undergraduate arts and science classes will be conducted between October 11 and 14. The paper in environmental education will be attempted on a computer designed OMR sheet.



Bhaniarawala in PGI with stab injuries
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 24
A year after Baba Piara Singh Bhaniarawala — accused of sacrilege — expressed apprehensions about his safety in a petition filed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, he was wheeled into the PGI with stab injuries.

According to information available here, the Baba was allegedly stabbed in the neck at Ambala. Escorted by at least 15 cops, he was brought to the Institute at about 1 pm.

The Baba was immediately referred to Out Patients Department (emergency surgery).

According to sources in the institute, the Baba was examined for about one-and-a-half hour before being discharged. His condition was reported to be out of danger.

The Baba, in his petition, had claimed that his movement in the state was not without risk to his life. As such the cases should be either transferred out of Punjab or to Chandigarh. Taking up the petition, the high court had directed that all seven cases would be heard at Ambala.

In another petition, he had also claimed that an “illegal and unconstitutional” ban had been imposed on Bhavsagar Samunder Amrit Vani Granth. The same, he had asserted, was politically motivated.

He had added that members of the then ruling party had earlier approached him seeking his support in the forthcoming elections.

They became furious after he refused to oblige them, his counsel had claimed. He had further added that the granth was subsequently burnt by certain leaders to malign his reputation.



Army HQ takes up insurance cover case
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
Reacting to reports that the insurance cover for Territorial Army (TA) jawans engaged in counter-insurgency duties was far less that that of regular Army personnel, Army Headquarters has taken up the matter with the TA Directorate.

It is learnt that following directions from the Adjutant-General’s branch at Army Headquarters, the TA Directorate has written to its units, seeking information on casualties which have occurred during deployment as well as details about the insurance policy applicable to TA personnel.

It was earlier reported in these columns that the insurance cover for TA jawans in case of death is just Rs 75,000, whereas the cover for regular Army jawans is over Rs 3 lakh. This is despite the fact that TA personnel are performing similar tasks.

“One reason that the insurance cover for TA jawans is less is because they pay premium for only two months annually,” an officer said, adding that as per TA regulations they are embodied for two months annually for training. “However, if they are embodied for longer periods and are deployed in insurgency-prone areas, the insurance cover should be commensurate with the risks,” he added.

Of the 31 battalions of the Territorial Army, the vast majority have been deployed on counter-insurgency operations (CI Ops) in Jammu and Kashmir. Sources said that more TA battalions had been earmarked for deployment in the strife-torn state.

The move to deploy a large number of TA battalions for CI Ops has also drawn a flak from several quarters. Most of the battalions of the Western Command Territorial Army Group, for example, are battling insurgents in J&K, though the assigned operational role of these part-time soldiers is different. “These battalions are Western Command assets to be used for specific purposes during a war,” an officer said. “In case a war breaks out it would be difficult to re-orient and redeploy units within the necessary time-frame, thereby leaving gaps in defences,” he added.



Rs 10 lakh sanctioned for city celebrations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
The Finance and Contract Committee of the Municipal Corporation today took important decisions, including sanctioning of Rs 10 lakh for Golden Jubilee celebrations of the city. In this regard a celebration committee headed by Mayor, Mr Subhash Chawla, has been formed.

A meeting of the committee was held under the chairmanship of the Mayor, Mr Subhash Chawla. The committee today completed the discussion on audit and inspection reports up to the period March 31, 2001.

The F&CC decided that existing organisations, which are holding weekly carnivals at the moment should furnish details of financial position. If the committee feels that these organisations are not making money out of these events, they may be exempted from paying money. The issue had come up as a few organisers had contended that they may be given exemption.

The F and CC also adopted a format for the deed of lease of sites to be entered between the Municipal Corporation and petrol pump owners. This means the MC raised the rent for these sites to Rs 33, 333 per month. Both the pumps fall in Manimajra and had been paying a rent of few thousand rupees.

Interestingly, the committee rejected the offer of Rotary Club for beautification of cremation ground of sector 25. Instead of this it was decided that the Rotary Club should be offered the cremation ground of Industrial Area Phase- I for beautification as this cremation ground has totally been ignored by the residents and is lying in utter neglect. The menace of stray cattle again cropped up during the meeting. On this issue the committee decided to offer 2 acres of land to the Aggarwal Sabha for constructing a new gaushala. The F and CC allowed the parking of vehicles on road berm along V-3 road between the grain market and Polytechnic College in Sector 26. Vehicles will be charged Rs 100 vehicles per month.

The committee also passed a rough cost estimate for carpeting of road from St. John School to St. Kabir School in Sector 26, the road along the phirni of Burail village and V-4 road of Sector 28. It also cleared the estimate of providing stand-by transformers of 800 kva of various water works in the city.



Cinema tickets to cost more from Friday
Tribune News Service

Rates of cinema tickets

Previous         From         Sept 26

Balcony           Rs 35           Rs 50

Upper Stall      Rs 20          Rs 25

Lower stall       Rs 12          Rs 15

Chandigarh, September 24
The Chandigarh Administration today increased the rates of cinema tickets while imposing a few riders and asking the cinema hall owners to make available some facilities within the next three weeks.

The new rates of tickets will be effective from September 26.

The rates and the fresh terms were decided at a meeting chaired by the District Magistrate, Mr Arun Kumar. Representatives of cinema-hall owners pleaded for enhancement in ticket rates claiming that the rates in Chandigarh were the lowest in the country, although the cost of running cinemas had gone up due to increase in electricity charges and other expenses.

The cinema hall owners and managers have been asked to maintain cleanliness and make various facilities available in the halls. They have been asked to ensure that the projectors and sound system are in order, all seats in the hall are intact and comfortable, air-conditioners are working, rates of canteen item are reasonable and the rate list is displayed and adhered to.

They have also been asked to ensure that the fire-extinguishers are in order, toilets are cleaned periodically and water supply is regular. First aid box should be kept in the theatre.

The cinema hall owners have been asked to make these facilities available immediately. In case, any repair, replacement or procurement is required, that should be done within three weeks.

After three weeks, an undertaking by the cinema hall licensees will be submitted to the District Magistrate to the effect that all these facilities are being provided in the halls. Mr Arun Kumar has said that periodic checks and inspections will be carried out to verify the same.



RSS chief to address seminar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
Mr K.S. Sudershan, Sarsangh chalak of the Rashtriya Swamsewak Sangh (RSS), will be the main speaker at the concluding session of the two-day seminar on integrated management of national security being organised by the Forum on Integrated National Security on September 27 and 28.

This was disclosed here today by Mr P. C. Dogra, convener of the forum. The seminar would be inaugurated by Defence Minister George Fernandes.



Sharp fall in sex ratio in Punjab,
Haryana, say experts
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 24
The sex ratio in Haryana and Punjab has witnessed a sharp fall as compared to other parts of the country. As per an estimate, the ratio varies between 800 and 850 in several districts. It is much below the national sex ratio of 933 females against 1000 males.

Fatehgarh Sahib has the lowest sex ratio in the country. It was 754 as per the latest available statistics. The phenomena was not limited to the region. The country too had witnessed a drop. The girl child ratio in the below six category had dropped by 18 per cent in the country, though it was 82 per cent in Punjab.

This was stated by the Regional Director of Directorate of Field Publicity (North West) Region, Mr K.S. Dhatwalia, and other delegates.

Addressing a gathering at a two-day workshop on “Abolishing female foeticide”, they said the sex ratio throughout the country had declined from 972 in 1901 to 933 in 2001.

The workshop was organised by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s Directorate of Field Publicity (North-West) Region. It was inaugurated by the Haryana Director-General Health Services, Dr B.S. Dahiya. He also presented his views on pre-conception and the pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act and its legal provisions during his inaugural address.

Punjab’s Director Family Welfare D.P.S. Sandhu also delivered a presentation on the constraints and evaluations of the PNDT Act. The Assistant Director of Punjab’s Department of Health and Family Welfare, Dr V.K. Goyal, also spoke on the occasion. Presentation by All-India Radio on issues relating to female foeticide was also part of the session.

Giving details, the speakers asserted that the directorate had 268 units all over the country, including 30 family welfare units. The Directorate’s main focus was on projection of government policies and education of people about developmental schemes.

The workshop was aimed at educating the field publicity officers of the directorate of field publicity about abolishing of female foeticide in the region. These officers were carrying out public awareness programmes against female foeticide in their respective areas.



Abolish caste-based promotion, says federation
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 24
With demand to abolish the reservation policy based on caste in educational institutions, government services and caste-based promotion, the General Categories Welfare Federation, Punjab, held a protest rally and submitted a memorandum to the Punjab Chief Minister here yesterday. All participants were wearing black cloaks and tied anti-reservation slogans around them. The protesters also took out a march to various offices situated in Sector 17 but were stopped by the police at the Matka Chowk, when they tried to march towards the Vidhan Sabha.

The federation urged the Punjab government not to implement the 85th Constitutional Amendment in Punjab, create a separate department and set up a commission for welfare of general category. The other demands included end of caste-based reservation and promotions, and reservation in educational institutions in the state. It also demanded to abolish the Atrocities Act, 1989, and follow Haryana for not giving reservation for Class I and II officers promotion.



Robbery in Sec 20 wine shop
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
Three youth of the Class IV Employees Colony in Sector 20 here robbed the English Wine Shop in the sector of more than Rs 10,000 and injured one of the salesmen in broad daylight today.

Vinod Kumar, Kala and Raja asked for bottles of beer free of cost, and on not getting these from the shop, hit Tarsem, breaking his four teeth. They also hit him with a bottle of wine on his thigh before taking away more than Rs 10,000 from the cash counter, said employees of the shop — Pawan, Ramesh and Lado.

The Sector 19 police station has booked them under Sections 393 (attempt to robbery), 324, 325, 452, 506 and 34 of the IPC. While Kala was handed over to the police by the employees, Vinod was caught when he returned to the shop after a few hours for reconciliation.

The employees of the shop said Raja had caused the injury to Tarsem and picked up bottles of liquor from the shop. Raja has not yet been arrested. Another person who had come along with Vinod Kumar in a Qualis (CH-03-E-0765) was also picked by the police and the men of the liquor contractors Naresh Garg and Manoj Sharma. The employees of the shop said the three youths had slapped Pawan and Ramesh before the incident.

The police was looking for Ram Darbar resident Raja. They said after taking cash from the box and injuring Tarsem, the three sat in the liquor shop for an hour and did not allow the employees to ring up the police and threatened them with dire consequences if the matter was reported to the police.

The arrest of Vinod Kumar and the person driving Qualis had elements of drama, with the Station House Officer of Sector 19 coming in the private car of the contractor. Another Safari, believed to be of another contractor, had henchmen of the contractor. The police explained that the police officer came in the private car as the accused might have run away.

As soon as police personnel and the henchmen of the contractors reached the liquor vend where Vinod had come for reconciliation, Vinod ran for cover in the shop where he was given a thrashing.

Other shopkeepers alleged that Vinod and his seven or eight accomplices had been involved in threatening shopkeepers and had even indulged in a fight sometime back with the employees of the adjoining filling station Rock Rose Auto Centre.

The employees at the liquor shop said they had been giving a heavy concession to the members of the alleged gang, which had been threatening them. The shopkeepers complained that the same persons had beaten up a roadside tea vendor Bahadur, a couple of days ago. An Electricity Department employee complained that the same people and their gang had beaten up employees of the department when they went to remove illegal connections sometime back.

One of the contractors — Manoj Sharma — had a security guard of the Uttar Pradesh Police.



Amritsar resident found dead
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 24
Rajan Sharma (27) of Nehru Colony, Amritsar, was found dead in mysterious circumstances in Sector 51 here today. There were no apparent marks of any external injury, said the police. The body appears to be about two days old.

Bodies found

DERA BASSI: Two bodies were found on the Zirakpur-Lalru stretch in the past 24 hours. A labourer was found dead near the Yadvindra bridge on the Zirakpur-Panchkula road this morning. The second body was found on the highway at Dappar.



City to have state-of-the-art corporate offices
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
Foreign-style corporate office complexes, which have become landmarks in Gurgaon and Delhi, will now be built in Chandigarh also. The DLF limited, the company behind the huge glass panelled and beautifully shaped buildings, is coming to the city in a joint venture with the Chandigarh Administration.

The DLF will develop about 6 lakh square feet of office space by investing around Rs 100 crore in the next few years. The project is for providing built-up space in the Information Technology Park in Kishangarh village, located on the north-eastern tip of the Union Territory. The Chandigarh Administration will be a 11 per cent partner in the joint venture. The share of the Administration will be to provide two sites, which have an area of about 12.5 acres. The cost of these sites is Rs 11.20 crore.

The DLF had participated in a global tender of the Information Technology Department to develop the IT towers. The company outbid two other companies Ascendas and Larsen and Toubro ( L& T) in the prestigious project. An agreement of joint venture between the DLF and the Administration will be signed soon.

For the IT towers, the DLF will invest all the money, while the land will be given by the Chandigarh Administration. The space will be offered by the DLF to IT companies which will desire to be there but do not want a major site on the campus. The same pattern has been followed by IT parks in Bangalore and Hyderabad. Such office spaces besides providing for ideal corporate environment also have world-class facilities like, food courts, entertainment and gymnasiums.

The share of the Administration in earnings from the IT towers will be decided on the basis of percentage worked out after calculating the cost of land. Apart from this, the Chandigarh Administration has appointed an architect for the entrepreneur development centre to be built by the Chandigarh Housing Board to allow smaller companies to set up their units here on rent.

The entrepreneur development centre will be funded by the CHB. A Chennai-based architect has been selected by the Software Technology Park of India (STPI) through a nationwide hunt. This will be 2-acre campus and have 60,000 square feet of built-up space. Small companies can have their offices here. The STPI will also have its office here. The STPI will provide connectivity for various IT companies here.



PEC student wins Maruti car
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
Mobile phone company Airtel today unveiled a list of 75 winners for two of its programmes, AirTel Ek Sawaal contest and AirTel In-Roamers Reward programme, held for its customers.

Sumit Gupta (19), a first-year student of Punjab Engineering College (PEC), is the winner of the first prize of a Maruti 800 in the AirTel Ek Sawaal contest, Mr Jacob, a resident of Delhi, bagged diamonds in the AirTel In-Roamers contest. Other prize winners got TVs, cameras, walkmans and holiday packages in Udaipur, Cochin and Shimla.

An excited Sumit said, “I am from Bathinda and when I joined PEC in Chandigarh, I took mobile phone connection so that I could stay in touch with my parents in Bathinda. When I got an SMS about the Ek Sawaal Contest from AirTel, I just tried my luck. And then, I got a message from AirTel saying I had won a car … I just could not believe it.”



Puncom gets new Chairman
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, September 24
Mr Kulbir Singh Sidhu, a member of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, has been appointed the new Chairman of Punjab Communications Limited. Talking to mediapersons here today,

Mr Sidhu said he was not aware of what had been happening in the company in the past years, including the disinvestment issue that had created unrest among employees.

He said he would formally take over as the Chairman on September 27, after the annual general meeting of Puncom that was scheduled for September 26. He said the Chief Minister had given him the responsibility and although he was not from the technical field, he would all efforts to meet the future challenges.


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